https://www.duolingo.com/finndj

How do I know how to pronounce Hebrew plurals?

שלם!

I am currently struggling to understand how to know how to pronounce Hebrew plurals. For example, the plural form for dog, כלבים (klevim) totally gets rid of the first e in the singular, כלב(kelev). How do I know when to drop the vowel? This pattern is the same for many other nouns, however sometimes more vowels are dropped, sometimes less, sometimes none.

תודה!

Sorry about the weird formatting, I have no idea how to fix it.

December 21, 2016

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre

As a general rule, words of the pattern XeXeX turn into XXaXim:

כלב כלבים

Dog/dogs - kélev/klavím (notice it's klavim not klevim)

ספר ספרים

Book/books - séfer/sfarím

מלך מלכים

King/kings - mélekh/m(e)lakhím

December 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj

Oh wow, that is so helpful! Do you know of any other rules?

Also, does that rule apply to words that start with י? For example, ילד– ילדים

December 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre

Yep, yéled, yeladím.

That's the only one I can think of at the moment. In most other cases you just add the plural ending and the word doesn't change otherwise.

December 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj

תודה רבה!

December 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo

I thought that yeladím was y'ladím? My book is in Sephardi Hebrew so it might be a variant but I'm just unsure :)

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre

Yes, the segol and shva vowel sounds have pretty much merged in modern Hebrew pronunciation.

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TseDanylo

Cool, how is it pronounced? Like the "e" in egg?

May 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre

More or less

May 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

In modern Hebrew it is 'yeladim', but everyone will understand you with y'ladim.

May 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

The formatting of a post on Duolingo is apparently based on the first word. So if you start with שלום (not שלם, btw), then the rest of the post will be formatted to line up with that. But because I started this post with an English word, it's formatted as in English.

I don't remember what happens if I write a new paragraph in Hebrew, though, so let's try that.

שלום, אני שרה, מה שלומך?

I have no idea what'll happen to this when it gets posted, whether the ? will end up at the wrong end, but I guess it will become clear. Anyhow, if you start in Hebrew, then you'll end up with any English you type being mangled a little.

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

The worst part is when you need to mix Heb-Eng frequently inside a single text. It includes the annoying issue of a question mark jumping to the beginning of the line instead of the end.

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

Yup, looks like that's exactly what happened to my Hebrew sentence in the middle of an English post.

December 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WaterPolyglot

That is awesome formatting! It's Hebrew lettering, by the way, so there's a pointer to help you fix. Anyway, my friend is Hebrew, and she said you just need to remember which ones drop and which ones don't. I'm not sure if that is correct, but, hey, she's the one fluent, not me.

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/finndj

Yes, I think the combination of right to left and left to right doesn't work all that well! Thank you for the tip, that's what I was suspecting, I was just hoping there was some sort of rule.

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/leonig01

This right-to-left vs left-to-right combined in one is a real pain in the ### Trust an Israeli. The sad part is there is almost no escape from it. Even typing numbers is left-to-right. The good part is - you are not alone in your misery )

P.S. I always said and will keep on saying that אבגד alphabet is very poorly suited for modern world communication, and it would be a great thing to modernize it (similar to what the Turks did when they switched to Latin letters). And I haven't started talking about its inferiority in pronunciation and readability ... grr ...

P.S.2 "Shalom" is written "שלום", with a 'vav'. Else it comes out "shalem" (either 'full' or 'pay', depends on the context).

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WaterPolyglot

Yes.

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/inbarggg

You don't always know. There's logic behind all of this, but learning it won't necessarily make it easier. Slowly but surely you'll know though :)

December 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LeonidBr

Thecupcakefarmer Hi!

You can try these lessons for plural: "Posts Tagged 'plural' Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 58"

Leonid

December 21, 2016
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